TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-When students pack their backpacks with new pencils, glue sticks, and markers: it means one thing-it's back to school time.
And for Topeka mother of three, Shannon Riedel, its a time to catch items on clearance.
"It's pretty expensive when you have three of them!" says Riedel.
A study from the National Retail Federation says that families with school-age children are expected to spend an average of nearly $635 on clothing, electronics and school supplies.
Students, however, don't seem as worried about how much they spend.
"It doesn't matter to me because I'm not the one paying," says Topeka 5th grader, Jenna Felsburg.
The International Council of Shopping Centers compiles results from dozens of major retailers and it says that back to school season is the second biggest selling period behind winter holidays, but the study says back to school shopping has seen a sluggish start.
Those who wait long enough might be rewarded with some steep discounts.
"Honestly, I'm one that waits until the last minute," says Riedel.
Target in Topeka has found new ways to attract shoppers.
Target also has a free "Cartwheel" cell phone application that allows shoppers to get coupons at their fingertips. Target store managers says that there's been an increase in shoppers.
Final grades on this year's back to school season still need to be calculated and local retailers plan to have more deals to boost sales to fill up students backpacks before they head to school.